UPDATE: Dell has announced it will be shipping the Duo from December 1 for a basic price of $549 in the States however a UK release price or date has yet to be announced. Though we have to say a price of around £350 sounds pretty good to us. More updates to follow as we get them.
UPDATE 2: The cost of the Duo Inspiron in the UK will £449 according to PC Pro which sounds pretty good compared to the iPad (£429) and the Samsung Galaxy Tab (£450 and dropping) considering you get a netbook and a tablet in one. However it does seem a bit pricey compared to the $549 (£340) they are expected to pay in the States. Hmmmmm.....
Dell is set to unveil one of the most anticipated pieces of technology into the laptop market next week. The Dell Inspiron Duo is a netbook combined with a tablet in a very unique way – via a swivel screen that flips depending on whether you want a tablet or a netbook functionality.
It has been widely reported that Dell will put the device on sale from its website as soon as this week. It is believed that Dell will reveal details about pre-sale orders at some stage later this week before the dual device goes on sale officially next week.
The unique looking device was revealed in all its glory on November 4 when Dell put a teaser trailer online to whet people’s appetites for the immenient launch. While the flip screen aspect of the Inspiron Duo is new to the market, other tablet/netbook combinations have been tried before – such as with the HP TouchSmart tm2-1010ea. The Dell Inspiron Duo will have a 10in screen, run Windows 7 and packs a powerful dual-core Atom processor.
When the laptop was shown off in September a Dell executive, Dave Zavelson, had a not-very-cloaked pop at the limited uses of tablet-only devices, such as the iPad. “There are times that you have to do work. Tablets are great for entertainment, but they aren't exactly conducive to productivity.” It was only then did he reveal the hidden keyboard.
There almost certainly will be a market for a combination of a netbook and tablet but a lot will depend on whether Dell has got the flip action of the screen working smoothly - and strong enough to keep working smoothly – which is something we will only find out when we get our hand on one.